One of the most common questions asked of me about the Paleo Diet is “Can I cheat” or “What about this or that” or something to this effect. Cheating is ok, as long as you don’t do it too much. Enter the 80/20 rule. This simply states that you will get 99% of the benefits of the Paleo Diet if you adhere to it 80% of the time. Simple as that. Going to a social gathering and being tempted by sweets or something non-paleo? If you really want to eat some desserts or bread or some other grain based dish, I say go for it. As long as it doesn’t upset your stomach and as long as you don’t make a habit of it. Make darn sure your 80/20 is exactly that not 70/30 or 50/50 or worse. Life is too short to not enjoy all it has to offer. Me personally? I like a healthy dose of Tex Mex every now and then. Enchiladas with rice and beans, you betcha. Hamburgers with buns? Sometimes I get tired of lettuce wraps and just want a good ole fashioned hamburger. And there is my true weakness, Blue Bell Ice Cream. I probably consume one half gallon carton a month. I don’t drink a lot of alchohol any more either. Once in a blue moon though, I’ll drink enough to get me buzzed and wake up with a slight hangover the next morning. I’ve gotten to the point that my body will let me know if I cross that 20% boundary (recall the Pancake overdose story). I will feel like crap if I eat too much junk.
So, cheating is ok every now and then, but don’t cheat on your cheating. Even if you don’t pay for it like I and most of paleo eaters do, you won’t be getting the benefits of the Paleo Diet. It is beautiful thing to be a well oiled machine and function at optimal energy levels. You’ve worked hard to get where you are, try not to let indulgences set you back.
To your health,